By Jason Watson, CPA
Posted Tuesday, October 12, 2021
One of our primary focuses at WCG is ensuring you are paying the least amount of taxes allowed by law. Some of our other primary focuses are helping you build wealth and leverage the most of your financial worlds for you and your family. However, these focuses or objectives are not isolated; they are very much related to each other and intertwined.
Before we run through several tax reduction and tax avoidance ideas, let’s talk about some basic concepts-
There is not a secret tax deduction club that only a few people know about. If there were, it would be like fight club, right? But trust us when we say no one is intentionally not talking about a tax deduction club.
Most people are interested in saving cash when they say they want to reduce or avoid taxes, but saving cash and reducing taxes are not necessarily the same.
Two households, making the exact same income, might have wildly different tax liabilities based on the myriad of variables such as children, mortgage interest, charitable donations, available tax credits, and, Yes, the proficiency of the tax professionals involved. So, just because your neighbor or produce clerk pays x does not mean you will too.
As household incomes travel through the ranges, a lot of things happen. The first $100,000 in income for most households is well-sheltered with itemized deductions and low tax brackets. The next $100,000 in income sees certain tax credits go away, higher tax brackets and fewer available tax deductions such as IRAs and other things (what we call income phase-outs).
In other words, if you go from $100,000 to $200,000 in household income, you will pay way more than double in taxes (you could easily see 2.5 to 3.0 times more). Yuck! The next $100,000 and beyond is completely naked, and is generally purely taxable (unless some tax reduction tactics are deployed). Super yuck!
Tax deductions and tax deferrals are not the same. Tax deferrals are tax bombs later in life; little IOU’s to the IRS and they will eventually call in the chit. But if you use the immediate tax savings to build wealth, then a tax deferral is worth it. Deferring taxes to pay for a cruise vacation might not always be the best approach (then again, live a little!).
You want to match the highest tax deduction to the high income. Let’s say it’s December and you are considering buying a piece of equipment. If next year’s income is going to be significantly higher, wouldn’t it make sense to wait until January to complete the purchase? Probably.
Tax deductions commonly need separation with cash. For example, you can save $2,500 (for example) in taxes right now if you write a check for $10,000 to a charity. That might not make sense if you are more interested in cash than taxes, right? Tax deferrals commonly need separation with cash as well, but at least you get it back. IRA’s and 401k plans (among others) come to mind.
Ok, here we go on those tax reduction and tax avoidance headlines-
- Sell Stock Losers to Offset Gains
- Budget Review
- 401k, SEP IRAs, and IRAs
- Profit Sharing, Defined Benefits Pensions (Cash Balance)
- Advanced Tax Planning for IRA’s, Roth IRAs and Roth Conversions
- Medical C Corp
- Cost Segregation on Real Estate
- Switching to Accrual Accounting
- Adding Spouse to Payroll
- Adding Children to S Corp Payroll
- Adding Children to Payroll Family Management LLC
- Tax Free Rental of Your Home
- Donor Advised Fund
- Conservation Easement
- Captive Insurance
- 1031 Exchanges (Like-Kind) on Real Estate Transactions
- Permanent Life Insurance Plans
- Family Limited Partnerships (FLP) and LLCs
- Discounted Roth Conversions
- GRATs, GRITs, and Private Annuities
If you want to know about these bulleted items, please visit-
Taxpayer's Comprehensive Guide to LLCs and S Corps 2021-2022 Edition
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